Elizabeth A. Sackler papers
Scope and Contents
This collection documents Sackler's work to right the wrongs of cultural genocide perpetuated on American Indians, especially that of their most sacred objects and includes correspondence, reports, fundraising materials, A/V materials, photographs, and publications. Subsequent accession consists primarily of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation correspondence with individuals and organizations.
Dates of Materials
- Creation: 1962 - 2017
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
To the extent that she owns copyright, Elizabeth A. Sackler has retained copyright, until her death, in her works donated to Smith College. Upon her death, copyright in these works will transfer to Smith College. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Elizabeth A. Sackler, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.
Elizabeth A. Sackler, the daughter of Arthur M. Sackler, a psychiatrist who made a fortune in the pharmaceutical business and a noted patron of the arts, has been a tireless advocate on behalf of American Indians and the repatriation of their sacred objects as well as a self-described "matron"of feminist art". She has served as the CEO for her late father's foundation, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, since 1987. In 1992 Sackler founded and continues to serve as president of the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation (AIRORF). Two years earlier a federal law was enacted to ensure this process and Sackler, long concerned about what she and others refer to as cultural genocide, seized the moment. Over the past two decades, AIRORF has overseen the return of countless sacred objects to their rightful owners, created a guide to the process ("Mending the Circle,"1996), produced a widely acclaimed documentary ("Life Spirit,"1993), and helped to educate the public in general re: the moral, ethical and legal debates on-going in the art market and museum collection worlds. In 2002, Sackler established a foundation in her own name with a very explicit purpose--to provide a permanent home to Judy Chicago's iconic installation,"The Dinner Party"(1974-1979). Thanks to Sackler's generosity and the cooperation of the Brooklyn Museum,"The Dinner Party"is the centerpiece of The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art,"a home where the feminist principles of equality and justice reside."(http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/about/benefactor_statement.php). In addition to"the Dinner Party,"the Center hosts traveling exhibits as well as sponsoring the Sackler Center First Awards, an annual event honoring extraordinary women who are first in their fields. The award, presented each year by Sackler and Gloria Steinem, was designed by Judy Chicago (http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/video/first-awards). Sackler, who earned a PhD in 1997 from the Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, has published and spoken widely about the moral and ethical aspects of art collections. She is the recipient of numerous awards in honor of her endless advocacy on behalf of those who lack a voice. As Sackler herself has said,"I do not think of myself as a benefactor. I am a public historian, social and arts activist, and American Indian advocate and as such have found myself being conscious of the world around me and taking action in many ways."(http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/about/benefactor_statement.php).
74.461 linear feet (58 containers)
Language of Materials
Elizabeth A. Sackler, the daughter of Arthur M. Sackler, a psychiatrist who made a fortune in the pharmaceutical business and a noted patron of the arts, has been a tireless advocate on behalf of American Indians and the repatriation of their sacred objects as well as a self-described "matron"of feminist art". Her papers include correspondence, reports, fundraising materials, A/V materials, photographs, and publications.
This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.
Other Finding Aids
One or more content listings to individual accessions in this collection are available for download. Links can be found in the description of the individual accessions.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Elizabeth A. Sackler, 2014-2017.
The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created.
Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.
- Chicago, Judy, 1939- (Person)
- American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation (Organization)
- Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art (Organization)
- Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation (Organization)
- Sackler, Elizabeth A. (1948 February 19) (Person)
- Sackler, Elizabeth A. (1948 February 19) (Donor, Person)
Genre / Form
- Annual reports
- Computer media
- Court cases
- DVD-Video discs
- Electronic mail
- Financial records
- Government documents
- Job applications
- Mailing lists
- Organization files
- lecture notes
- American Indian Movement -- 20th century
- Electronic records
- Feminism in art
- Fund raising
- Indigenous peoples -- Legal status, laws, etc -- North America
- Indigenous peoples -- North America -- 20th century
- Philanthropists -- United States
- Finding aid to the Elizabeth A. Sackler papers
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2019-03-14: Finding aid updated to current standards and published
- 2020-05-29: Description added for born-digital content.
- 2021-07-02: Added legacy container inventories for 3 accessions
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063